Apple is in a legal tussle with health technology company Masimo, potentially leading to the removal of a prominent feature from Apple Watch models. Continue reading to understand the details of this engaging storyline.
In 2020, Masimo accused Apple of intellectual property theft, claiming Apple developed an oximeter technology similar to the one patented under its name. The oximeter is a significant product for Masimo, almost contributing to 80% of its total revenue. Masimo maintains that Apple stole the company's trade secrets.
Legal Proceedings and Decisions
Upon intervention by the International Trade Commission (ITC) last year, Apple was instructed to halt the sales of its Ultra 2 and Series 9 watches. Apple was granted a grace period to make modifications and is currently awaiting a decision from US customs and border protection.
Apple has proposed to entirely remove the oximeter feature from its smartwatches. The US customs have since determined that the new design proposed by Apple does not violate the ITC's ruling. However, the modified Apple Watch versions, despite being shipped to stores, cannot be sold without approval from management.
As it stands, the legal battle continues, with the US Appeals Court due to make a decision on a possible stay of execution for Apple.
Previous Legal Interactions with Masimo
It's noteworthy to mention that if Apple is forced to remove the oximeter technology, it won't be the first major company to suffer a legal setback against Masimo. In a previous instance, Philips Healthcare was ordered to pay million over a health monitoring patent in 2014. Furthermore, Masimo managed to secure nearly million and an additional million from Nellcor for patent infringement.